I have mentioned before how I am almost superstitious when it comes to running and how I have my “lucky” items. Well, here are a few of the things that I feel enable me to run. These are my talismans.
It was a revelation to me to start drinking during the runs. It was a huge step and I was very nervous about it as I worried about stomach issues and also about how to bring the water with me. I tried a cheap water belt which didn’t work at all; all the bouncing made the run nearly impossible. I then stumbled upon this water bottle from Sweaty Betty. It is very small (330ml) and not really enough for long summer runs in the heat but it is so easy to hold in your hand so I love it. The other downside is that it is a bit drippy so I will probably find another, similar one as long as it also has a handle that is small enough to hold without gripping.
The next step up from having the water with me, was to “spice it up” with something to give me an extra boost. I decided to avoid carbs in the water as I was told this would dehydrate me even more so I went for pure electrolytes. I usually put 1/2 tablet of Nuun into my water bottle and use the Zero5 for rehydration after the run. I highly recommend the Tri-Berry in Nuun and Berry in Zero5. The Citrus in Zero5 is nice too.
I got this bottle from a sports shop thinking I might try protein shakes. Well, I haven’t yet but the bottle is perfect for making a drink after the run. I usually add loads of ice, a tablet of High5 and water – the mesh inside the bottle keeps the ice in the bottle. Ahhhh…. I fantastise about this when I am out running in the heat. That first sip is pure heaven.
I cannot run without these. I don’t have a Garmin so I use my iPhone to track the progress and for music (more about this later). I got the iPhone 5 when it came out and it took ages for the market to come out with armbands for the phone. I ordered the Belkin Neoprene Profit Armband and have been really happy with it. The only problem is that it is a bit too big for me so I have had to shorten the strap with a safety pin. But you can chuck it in the washing machine which is a HUGE plus. And then of course my beloved Yurbuds. Oh my god how they have transformed running for me. I used to have to run with a headband on (oh how seeexy!) just to keep my iPhone headphones in but I have no such issues with the Yurbuds. I love, love, love them. They are a HG (Holy Grail) running item for me.
I have tried them all; RunKeeper, MapMyRun etc. Nothing comes anywhere CLOSE to the excellence of RunMeter. I would highly recommend you try it as it has so many excellent features. E.g. You can choose an activity from skiing, driving, hiking, running (intervals), biking to swimming. There are more. You can choose the announcements you hear and when you hear them, it maps your run (or whatever you are doing), traces your pace, descent/ascent, gives breakdown of laps or intervals etc. It is brilliant. And as long as I make sure the GPS is at full bars before I start, I don’t generally have any tracking issues. I can also play my music through the app.
From high tech to low tech. No matter the season, my nose always runs when I run (haha!). I tried tissues but these just disintegrated as I like to have them in my hand as I run. Then I almost accidentally tried a sheet of Plenty kitchen towel and it was a revelation. This will NOT disintegrate – it gets soggy of course but it holds together. I also wrap a sheet around my keys before I put them in my pocket as this stops them from jingling. I cannot run without this.
Vaseline – my friend. I slap it on under the boobs where the band of the running bra usually chafes the outer layer of my skin and “down there” where the running tights usually leave burn marks. This has taken the unnecessary pain away leaving only the pain from injuries which is where BioFreeze comes in. It makes RICE easy and it does help when my legs feel a bit inflamed. Also great on sore lower back. I should have taken a picture of my bottle of Neurofen as well as it has saved me more than once. (Adding the link to BioFreeze I saw they now have it as a spray – will have to try this as well)
And then to the actual kit. A year or so ago I got this very lightweight jacket from Uniqlo. It is extremely thin but surprisingly warm. I don’t usually run with it on (too warm) but for a long time I couldn’t run if I didn’t have something around my waist to cover my bum. Nowadays I don’t really care whether people see my jiggling bottom and just find it a hindrance if I have it but it comes to it’s own when I am going for a run after dropping my son off to nursery. It can be cold in the morning so I just put this on over the sleeveless running top and then tie it around my waist when I set off. It is even enough in the winter over a long sleeved running top.
First of all apologies – yes, that is sweat you see in the picture. Inspiration for this blog hit me during my 21km run on Thursday so I just snapped the pictures when I got home. Gross! Anyway – This is my favourite summer running top; Nike Dri-Fit Touch. It is SO light and cool. It is the next best thing to running in nothing but your bra. I cannot recommend it highly enough.
Wow, that is a really bad picture… Anyway, these are my summer running tights. Basically they are capri rather than long ones – that is about as short as I will go. I am not brave enough to run in actual shorts but I salute all of you who do! I tried to find out exactly what they are called but Nike website seems to be down and I just can’t find them anywhere. They have a drawstring waist and a pocket on the side and I love them. Slight issues with CT but not as bad as in the compression tights…
Again I am let down by the Nike website (what is going ON?) but I think this is the Nike Ladies Definition Bra. I don’t have a huge rack so I am ok with moderate support and this does the job fine. As always, the bottom of the bra would chafe but the Vaseline fixes this. A comfortable bra that keeps the udders in place without stopping my lungs from expanding.
I love running socks. Love them hard. I have so many pairs but I always come back to these. I usually run in the white ones – they are almost a talisman to me – but due to this reason they look disgusting and not picture worthy. These are the Nike Elite Running Cushion Quarter Socks. They keep my feet pretty much blister free and nothing chaves. It’s a “YES” from me.
You remember when I got new running shoes after the analysis? You know, the Asics ones. And then I went out and got a new pair of Nike Zoom Structure 16s. Well, I am ashamed to admit I have given up on the Asics ones. They just don’t work for me. I like the professional look of them (this particular pair of Nike look crap) but the Nike has more space for my mangled feet. Love these babies but I am nearing the time when I have to get a new pair. The only issue I have (with all running shoes) is that as I buy them a size large, my big toe comes up on the mesh area and tends to create a hole there. So far I am not through the outer layer yet but it’s only a matter of time. I consider these shoes my running partner – we are a team. (And I sound mental…)
So these are a few of my favourite things, what are yours?